Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ticket Prices Rise for Space Tourists

Excess gravity on the mass value of the US dollar is inflating the price for the ultra rich to jet off to the International Space Station's version of a spa weekend. Transportation provided by Russia's Soyuz capsule includes all meals and lodging. Each round trip first class ticket will cost $40 million US for a 2008 or 2009 booking. Prior trips for 2007 were at the bargain basement price of $30 million USD. Space Adventures requires a nominal 20% deposit and a certificate of health to handle the pressures of the trip before and during. The pictures from space are priceless.

Living day to day at the International Space Station has its thrills and moments of utter boredom. A recent trip saw all six of the Space Station's computers crash and a concerted effort to reconcile hardware and software issues like a Help Desk on Earth, only they were traveling at over 17,000 miles per hour. Inhabitants of the ISS, exercise often , jerry-rig equipment and clean up for occasional visits from crews of the US space shuttles. Chris Jones(video at the link) writes a terrific tell all account of the perils of space and the last visit of Columbia's crew. With the loss of Columbia heavy on their hearts, the ISS crew had to make their own emergency landing at the same time. They too were feared lost. Too Far From Home tells the poignant insider story of the last chess move between astronaut friends forever parted and the awesome pictures as the ISS orbited our Earth. It's a first class read.

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